Avalon sticks with good clean classics

Deseret News, 30 December 2005

Article Summary:

Art Proctor received his first projector when he was ten years old and charged neighborhood friends a nickel to watch a film on his basement wall.

“I just loved movies. I don't know why. I must have had it in my blood from the pre-existence.” (Art Proctor)

“Movies started changing in the '60s, Proctor said. He remembers going to the screenings with other theater managers and being appalled by the increased profanity, nudity and violence. That's when he decided he would only run classics at the Avalon.”

“People said, 'Oh, you'll never make it,' but guess what happened? We filled the house. People came because they knew we played good movies.” (Art Proctor)

“I can't stand to run a theater and face people when the shows are dirty. It's worth being able to look people in the eye when they leave at the end of the night.” (Art Proctor)

Business was good through the 90s, but dropped after “the big multifeature theaters moved in.” The Avalon stopped showing movies on a regular basis three years ago, but still opens three or four times a year with advertising on the marquee. “They're nearly always old films, though he's not opposed to showing new releases if they're morally clean.” The building is now for sale.

Hypnotist shows brought in a lot of revenue over the last decade, “but in the end, they caused more trouble than they were worth.”

“I'm 74, it's time I get out. I want to retire — go fishing and go on a cruise.” (Art Proctor)

Clyde Ashcroft owns Clyde's Barbershop adjoining the theater.